Friday, April 17, 2009

Give it up IRS... Taxes are over rated

"People need to take a risk with their life and live it. Otherwise they just sit around thinking they're living a fulfilled life, when really they're just waiting to die."
-- Myself when I was hungry


It's that time again... time for another blog post.

I'll say I gave up blogging for lent... but I don't practice Christianity, so that isn't true. But we're going to go with it anyways...

So over the past 97 weeks that I haven't posted, I've been playing very good pool.

As a matter of fact I've been playing well in every way... league, tournaments, gambling...
I'd say it's a hot streak, but I'm not sure since it's lasted longer than a week.

7 weeks of league without a single loss, sweet f'in' apples.
1 tourney that I placed in the money. Also my first tourney to place in the money... extra sweet.
1 tourney I placed one out of the money... damnit, so close.
money games that keep the action alive and I enjoy it more than league.

My league team is doing quite well this session... tied for first, until this most recent Tuesday, now we're tied for 2nd... and next week is play offs.

It's not a sanctioned league or anything so there's no Vegas in the future... at least not a league paid trip.

So far, this is probably the most favoriteststststtst league that I've played on/in. The people are fun, the games are challenging because the handicap is done right (listen up APA!)

The matches are serious enough to apply a little pressure, but overall the players really don't care win or lose, first or last place.
The other players on my team are excellent; I really enjoy playing with them week to week... I learn something every week... and I look forward to playing league (I know.. I know.... sappy) every day of the week until Tuesday rolls around.

anyway... enough with the sap.

A good friend of mine and I have been discussing doing some weekend projects (completely non-pool related) so you may see some of that here in the future... don't be surprised.
What we have in mind is exploring old abandoned buildings and such... take some pictures... and ultimately not go to jail.

And to keep it pool related... I've been watching...

The most common 8 ball shot by us hacks out there... is something pretty close to what you see in the diagram.

A lot of racks the 8 ball barely moves, then towards the end of the rack the player will either under hit it trying for the corner pocket leave but end up leaving a straight shot into the rail.... or over hit it trying to leave a shot for the corner... and end up with the same crap as before.

Either way... screwed.

So get out there... pay attention... and then get yourself familiar with this shot, it comes up more than you think... and WAY more than we want.

Depends on the angle... but the scratch shot is always avoidable with a little top or bottom.

Personally.... the bank is the most risk... but it's most playable, depending on the table.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Caution: Boring Pool Stuff Ahead

"I really need to work on my break"
"Yeah, everyone does... even the pros."
conversation during a game

Back in May I re-posted a video from the blog by pool minnow, about how to have an incredible power break. I watched the video a few times... more often than not deciding the audio was terrible, and I wasn't dedicated to killing my hearing every time the cueball struck the rack. So many times I watched about 4 to 5 minutes... and then gave up and did something else.

When I watch a pro (on espn, youtube, propoolvideo, etc) I can see how their body moves and where the cueball goes. Watching how the cueball reacts tells me what the english does... watching the person's body tells me what the cuestick does. But what I can't see is where they want the cueball to hit when it gently touches the rack with the force of a sledge-hammer behind it. Where is the player looking in the rack, when they're aiming for the break.
Right then...

Because of this video I also decided that I would modify my break, 1 piece at a time.
I break from the right side of the table, this wouldn't be changing.
I use 2 different break spots... first spot is at the head string... 1 diamond in. As exact as I can get without busting out the tape measure.
I aim at different spots depending on what kind of rack I'm facing. I'll describe this part later... by this point, you'll probably have gotten bored and clicked away to another page, but maybe pretty pictures will keep you around (kat)

I took a single piece of magic from the video... went to a pool hall, and spent 4 hours breaking 8 and 9 ball racks.
And yea, I'm a geek... I actually took pen and paper, and charted my results. (I won't subject you to that though.) If you care to know... comment, or email... whatever.

Here's basically where I was aiming, and breaking from... with each change I did change the aim point, and the starting spot.
Where the chalk is = where my eyes are aiming

My first modification was to choke up on the cue stick. I'll talk about the 8ball rack. Pretty much always an 8 ball rack unless mentioned.

Before In the past I've always taken the break stick from the farthest point back as a comfortable grip would allow.
with this I was getting about ball to pocket out of 10 breaks, with a decent spread.

The Change When I approach the table... I have the stick just like a regular hit during a game. Before I bend over, I adjusted my grip about a full fist forward.

After With this change I was getting the same... 1 out of 10 racks. That's 1 out of 150 balls. Crap results.
But the spread did improve and I usually had 2 or 3 balls drift towards at least 1 pocket. Made for a lot of ducks, and an easy out for the other guy.

I'm not really happy with this modification.
Oh, my consistancy dropped too.

Before My next modifcation was to revert back to my original grip placement... but change the english.
I was using center english... I'd aim just a TOUCH lower than center, maybe 1/2 tip lower... because when I was hitting the cueball my stroke would end up hitting center. Yea, I've tested this. If you care to know how... comment, or email... whatever.

The Change Anyway... still knocking in 1 out of 150 balls, so I adjusted to hit the cueball 1/2 tip north... and about a full tip east.
Pretty close to 1, maybe 1:30 on the ball.

After I wasn't making any more, but the cueball did start moving the 8 a good amount... which was a wonderful thing.
Usually towards the side, but on occasion towards the corner.
Spread and make percentage didn't change... but I kept the change for a little while on the slim chance the 8 would drop during a match one day.

Before Long ago before I was conscious of my break results, I'd aim at a particular contact spot for a 9 ball rack... and a particular spot for an 8ball rack.
With a 9 ball rack this was no issue... but with the 8ball rack, there was so much more activity on the table I'd often forget exactly which aiming "point/spot" gave me the best results, translating into me forgetting where to aim.

The Change This is where the chart that I mentioned earlier, was most important.
I hit 10 racks... 1 stroke, same english, same stroke, different contact point, different starting position.
10 racks... then moved to next aim spot... 10 racks... next aim spot... finished all the spots... move to a different starting position... lather, rinse, repeat.

(kat) So I'm not going to describe it... I'm just going to make some cuetable pages, and hope you have java installed... if you don't, you're not going to see what I documented.

After Long Data Short... My best results were to aim from the head string, 1 diamond in, and aim for the far 2nd ball in the rack for as full a hit as possible... as if the head ball wasn't even there.
3 out of 10 racks, this dropped 2 balls. another 4 racks dropped 1, and 3 more came up empty.

The biggest change of all was my stance.
Before My normal break is was all arm. I'd ensure proper grip, ensure proper cueball placement, settle into my stance, take some practice strokes, pause, then pound the cueball as hard as my geeky arm could.

The Change As I'm settling into my stance I move my back foot forward about an inch. Just a guess... I move it forward enough to slightly bend my leg, but still have a stable stance. Lowering my hips a bit... I start my practice strokes.
When I'm ready (and I'm still working on this part coming naturally) I project my rear leg up and forward, and in 1 fluid flurry of motion... the cueball is sent flying towards the pack.

As my leg is extending my arm is also exstending to keep the cue level... my chest heaves forward a bit and my hips rise even with my fist. The moment my leg is fully extended my arm begins to accelerate forward... I do my best not to move my shoulder, and I push the cue stick into the middle of the table. At least that's my focus point.
My grip is still at the back of the stick
My aim is still at the 2nd ball in the pack, on the far side.
My english is just above and just barely to the right of center.

After 1 out of 15 balls drops. on average 1 per break... and I'm ok with this, because I'm almost always staying at the table.
Granted... every now and then I make 2, or 3 on the break... and 2 breaks later I make nothing. So it evens out to 1 per break.

If you've made it this far... wow.

Just wow.

So how do you break? Do you have a power break? Is your's a soft yet effective break? Share it in the coments.

Oh, and don't bother going into the detail I have in this post. Unless you REALLY REALLY want to, well then have at it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fact or Fiction? - Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

 FTD Storm

Fact: Babies are born without logical thought.  In some, this doesn't appear until the human reaches retirement age.

Today, I encountered one of these unfortunate beings.


I work in a call center... supporting computers and hating stupid people.  One of the applications I support keeps track of orders taken from other companies (our competitors) that provide the same service that we do.  Details aren't important... just understand that this application helps the middle man (our customer) keep track of all incoming and outgoing orders.



Call of the day:

caller says something to the effect of the following:

I sent 3 orders… Louis, Larry, Chad. Those are  the names.


Louis went to My Company

Larry went to Competitor

Chad went to Competitor

We phoned all of them out. I put them into the system and marked them phoned. So I don’t understand why Louis is marked with My Company and Larry and Chad are marked Competitor

Shouldn’t they all be the same thing?

My voice says “Phoned out isn’t a wire service… they’re going to be different because you used different services. They’re all marked phoned, with this check box right here” I move my mouse and point to show member.

That doesn’t make any sense. Shouldn’t they still all be Competitor out?

The headset resonates “When you called the other florist, and gave them the order… did you 2 discuss payment via Competitor or My Company?”

Louis was Your Company… and the other 2 were Competitor.

“Ok then…" (Why are you calling?)

So why is Louis marked as Your Company?

“Because, you called, them… and will, be paying them… by way of My Company…...?" (Seriously?)

That doesn’t make any sense. Why are the other 2 marked Competitor then?

“You’re paying them via Competitor, are you not?”

No, I am.

“Ok… so to keep track of that… would you mark them Competitor Two?”

No, I’m not an idiot.  I’d mark them Competitor.

“Ok… so if you’d mark them Competitor… and they’re marked Competitor… why do you think they’re marked Competitor?”

I’m not sure

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Have you ever pissed in public?

Current mood:  amused

So we've all been in public, at least once... and had to take a piss, or shit, or do something to that effect. Some how, through some people's upbringing, the common unspoken rules of Pissing in Public bypassed they're brains.... and are rude... out right disturbing even.

DisplayPooNow I write this directed towards the men.... mostly. That's pretty much because I don't frequent the ladies room, so I don't know what kind of gross things happen over there on the other side of the wall, and some days... it's better that way.
But believe me, I know people... I've got insider agents that tell me how disgusting some of you women lurk!

For instance... for the men..... You walk into a bathroom with 2 stalls, and 3 urinals.... No one is in there... which urinal do you choose?
If you choose left or right.... you seem to know what you're doing. You know to put a urinal buffer between you and anyone who may walk in to take a piss after you.You can piss in public without making people feel like you're going to peek at their penis.
On the other hand... some men might say middle because it's the most comfortable or whatever they blame... who cares what the reason, 'cause when I walk in after you, and you've got your dick out... and you're makin' a river..... it's too late for me, I've got no where else to go without you lookin' at my junk, unless I dip into the stall.
Then I think, that you think, I'm insecure and have to piss in the stall to hide my size.
WRONG. I just don't want you lookin' at my cock.

1) Here's the Rule: More than 2 stalls... leave 1 between you and any *POSSIBLE* person to walk in. If some one's already in the middle... push them softly, center back, as if they were pissing in the woods, and jog out, act inconspicuous until they leave... then return for a proper piss.

Next up... Who all has been in a public bathroom and someone else is in there too... Midstream... this person knows what they're doin'... they're against the wall urinal.. leaving a buffer and then there's your urinal against the other corner.... no biggy right.
So you're feelin' ok, you whip it out and begin draining your log... and the dude says " `sup man?" Alright, who's been there? hands, anyone?
Yeah, don't be that guy.

I'm standing here, holding my cock.... and you wanna talk about the fuckin' weather? Get the hell outta here! I didn't come in here to talk to you about your shirt, or suggest you get high lights in your hair and explain that your shoes don't match your belt because it's after fuckin' labor day.

2) Here's the rule: DON'T TALK TO PEOPLE IN THE BATHROOM!! If you know the person your with, and you're settin' up a girl for your boy and you need to discuss tactics... don't do it while either of you are pissing, wait until he's done.
If you don't know the guy, don't say anything to the guy. Not once you've both passed that bathroom threshold... don't even nod. The ONLY exception is Rule 3.

Ever go to an Asian place for dinner, or maybe that taco shop that everyone warns about but goes there anyways.... and then go to the club/bar afterwards?
Here's the thing about takin' a shit in a club setting. First off... courtesy mother fuckin' flush. You drop a dumpling, flush... you drop a 13inch by 4incher... flush. Get that stink out, because otherwise you wreak, and so does your clothes... chicks do smell that, even if they're nice about it.
Next thing about it is watch for crabs. I know it's just a rumor and Myth Busters and whomever else has proved the theory wrong that you can get crabs off a toilet seat. But think about it gentlemen...... how many male whores sat where your ass is placed when you're cheek to porcelain... and how many more std's can men contract without symptoms? I won't get too detailed.
Plus, think of the people that work there...... do you really think they clean that shitter all that well?  ------------- If you worked there, would you?
So you have a couple of options... you can hover over the toilet... but really... that's only practical in a port-a-john situation. Option B, grab some shit tickets (Toilet Paper) and place it on the seat. Don't forget the back edge too. Now you have a physical barrier between you and someone else's mistimed poo.

3) Not really a rule for this one... unless you were in a HELL of a hurry, and had to ask the guy in the stall next to you for some shit tickets... this is the ONLY time you should talk to someone else in the men's bathroom.

Ladies, your turn.... There's been reports of people going to the bathroom, and coming back in groups.... I understand... it's a little weird for men to get it, but there's been survey after survey to find out why.
Most common answers: They don't want to be raped, they're bored when alone in the bathroom, and simply put... the female gender are instinctively, the group type, while males are more independent.
What I figure is that you go to the bathroom in groups for a few different reasons.... mostly, (at least at the early 20 something ages and younger) it has to do with the guys. Either there's a creepy guy asking you to dance, to buy you a drink, or your favorite color of ice cream... whatever the case may be, that's what your wing woman is for... to save you. "Hey! I have to go pee!" your natural reply is "Me TOO! Be right back.." with a smile because you know this is your chance to escape.
I believe another reason is so that you can decide what part of the club/bar to go after getting the current guy's number.... that way no one looks lost or more drunk than you actually are.
Last one, because you women (most that I've encountered, not all) have bladders the size of oysters... I swear! So you all do have to pee, or just because someone mentions pee... you now really do have to pee as well.
Women are women... whatever.

Rule 4) Women, whatever.

If it's your time of the month.... be polite about it!!!
People, people people, people.... seriously. If you don't wear a pad, then know what to do with the tampon when you're done with it. For instance... Don't put it in the god damned toilet! TRASH CAN! Further more, don't put the wrapper, plastic shell of the new tampon, and the old tampon in the toilet.... DISGUSTING!!! Try the TRASH CAN ON FOR SIZE!!!
Believe me, people know when you're the last one out of the bathroom and they walk in, and just happen to use the same toilet.... Then they tell their friends.
Seriously ladies..... that's gross.

Rule 5) Don't put your tampons (or pads) in the toilet! Sicko... give kids cancer doin' shit like that.

Men.... remember rule 1-3... 4 too if you're wise.

Women... Pay attention to rule 5, jesus.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

When the rolls are against you, hang in there


The picture here...

not that it's a bad thing ...

just that it's a funny thing. To me.

Thought I'd share what was left in my cubical on election day (And everyone I work with's cubical)



Tuesday night was a hell of a league night.

It was a race to 5, and I was spotting 3 games.
He took the lag, broke dry, and I chose solids. As the game went on it came down to 3 balls on the table... The 8, The Cueball, and one of my solids.
He was up to smack the 8 in...

He missed it by a half diamond, but laser-sighted the cueball directly into the corner pocket.

I don't like winning that way, but a win is a win.

Next rack I break but nothing drops. He takes down around 3 or 4 solids and misses. I'm on stripes, I run 6 and play safe... but miss the position and he has a shot.
He takes the table down to him and the 8 again... This one is a much more likely "make it and scratch all in the same shot" kind of angle.
The cut was so thin that even top or bottom wouldn't help, if it did... it's be a miracle.

So he shoots, he scores, he scratches.
My point.

So I'm 2 up and he's done it all by himself.

3rd game looks familiar at the end... clean table, and I keep letting him back at the table.
Maybe I'm just getting the rolls and that's giving me the game?
In any case... he's on the 8, and it's a cut almost down the rail, where he has to hit it with speed, but the chance of a cross side scratch is pretty likely.
So he hits it... the 8 walks down the cloth and the cueball sprints back and forth and eventually comes to rest right in front of the side pocket... the 8 sees this and also stops in front of the corner pocket.
I run 2 and the 8 drops.
I'm 3 up... now it's an even race.

ok, now this is the part of the movie where the bad guy turns out to be a spy for the good guys and ends up making the doctor of some fancy hospital do some crazy research or crazy surgery so he can complete his mission.

I break again... come up dry, but the table is a beautiful spread. Something little girls lay awake at night staring at the ceiling, dreaming of seeing something so sweet at their wedding. Perfect and splendid.

He takes solids and starts getting amazing rolls... aim for a shot in the corner and it rattles somehow into the side pocket on the same rail, kind of rolls. Being APA rules... slop plays.

He wins that game... then the next game the rolls are still going his way
Completely NOT on purpose... he safes me like 4 times in a row. I feel like I'm playing someone that's never picked up a cue before, so the balls always get moved around and there's absolutely no strategy or concept of english. Just a bunch of hit and hope....... and it's working.

Hill/Hill and a few balls off the table... he hits something weird and the only balls resting on the the green plateau.

Lock Tight Safe

I'm stripes.        You... the reader... are stripes.

There aren't ANY other balls on the table. You've got a super easy out... but you're left with this.
Not even a jump shot available.

Hence the title... When they're not going your way, give it a minute. Murphy's law works for everyone... at least when I'm at the table.


Oh yeah, somehow from this he got ball in hand and cleaned up... me losing the match 3/2.